We had an unexpected visit to our store last summer. Mr. Ashraf Abdelbaky, a star of Egyptian theatre, came to Prague. Mr. Ashraf had a clear vision - to make a custom marionette.
We agreed on the basic conditions of our upcoming collaboration and we said good bye for a little while. Mr. Ashraf didn’t leave Prague with empty hands though. He took a wonderful collection of Charlie Chaplin marionettes with him.
The custom marionette was supposed to stand 60cm tall and have the face of Mr. Ashraf himself. But how to create a puppet that has to be as light as possible with smooth and excellent movement? With a little help from modern technology we found the solution in no time. The head was to be printed in 3D, which would give us the exact shape and the material would be light enough.
After the first consultation we were told there would not be just one marionette, but eighteen! All the members of Mr. Ashraf’s theatre. Once we had all the materials needed for the production, we started work immediately!
We created a 3D model of each actor looking at the different physical proportions of each person. The faces had to go through strict inspections and corrections.
After we finished the first puppet, we got on the plane to Cairo, Egypt. We wanted to see the whole theatre and meet all the actors. And mainly, we needed a consultation about the next stage of this important marionette production.
Everything went quite smoothly on our return to Prague. creating eighteen marionettes is demanding work. The organisation had to be perfect. Ensuring we had enough materials, employees and mostly time. Luckily, all went well and after two months we returned to Egypt. This time, we took amazing and experienced marionette actress, Blanka Josephová Laňáková.
Blanka took everything into her hands and started teaching Egyptian marionette actors how to operate their puppets. Blanka is a real master and everybody learned the basics quickly.
We visited Egypt several times and we always saw great progress in our Egyptian friends skills. With a little bit of directional support and training on how to operate the marionettes, our colleagues from the theatre picked everything up so quickly they were truly amazing.
There is a premiere in Cairo on November 20th and we’re looking forward to seeing all the photos and videos.
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